With a voice that blends the clarity of Mindy Smith and the country of Ashley Monroe, singer-songwriter Caroline Spence readies her upcoming debut, Somehow. The unassuming song cycle manages to strike a balance between feeling winsome and weary, pensive and piquant. It’s a stunning effort, by any and every measure. That it’s Spence’s first record makes it all the more notable.
The haunting “Trains Cry” starts the set with its gorgeously rendered metaphor on the heartbreak of leaving that is a natural part of every musician’s life: “I know how to hit the road, know how to go it alone down some dark highway / But I ain’t been here before, some southern-bound platform, my love gone away / It’s like somebody else is at the wheel driving 500 tons of steel and that’s half as heavy as my heart.”
Trains can’t stop. Or turn around. Or back right up to what they just pulled away from. It’s ever-forward for a train — just like it is for a traveler.
“This song is a sort of traveling musician’s lament. It’s a wonderful thing to be on the road, but it’s tough when you want to stay somewhere and you can’t. You can’t have just one more night,” Spence tells The BGS. “I wrote this song after a tour up North where I took the train from Upstate into New York City and back. I had to leave the next morning after this magical night on a rooftop in Brooklyn and I had this really sinking feeling on the train of not knowing when I’d ever be back. The train, it’s constant forward motion, provided the perfect image for that feeling.”
Somehow comes out on March 3.
This article originally appeared on the Bluegrass Situation.